Making a game single-handedly would be a daunting task for anyone, but developer Genki Mine has pulled it off. Handling graphics, gameplay, and dialogue, the only thing he didn’t have a hand in for his latest title, Dungeons & Such, was the music.
Released under Genki Mine's company name Summit Island, Dungeons & Such is a traditional turn-based RPG, with the game designed from the ground up with a single vision.
The bulk of the game sees you battling through deep, sprawling dungeons from a first-person perspective, fighting a range of enemies as you go.
There are shops where you can buy items and weapons to help you through the adventure, as well as the option to recruit your friends asynchronously to aid you in scraps. The turn-based nature of the game means it can be played in short and long bursts.
We spoke to Genki Mine about how he made the game on his lonesome, how proud he is to have done so, and his plans for the future.
Pocket Gamer: What do you think makes Dungeons & Such stand out from the other RPGs on the App Store?
Genki Mine: The game is designed with mobile in mind, which can be played by the minute. Dungeons & Such also lets you hire other people's characters and compete in high-scores, which takes advantage of the internet-capabilities of the iPhone.
Why did you decide to launch your game on the App Store? What appealed to you about developing for the iPhone?
Developing for iOS devices is very welcoming. The documentations and references are great both written and in video form, there are great communities, and the UI elements are very pleasing to the viewers. It is very straightforward and made the process fun for a developer like me.
You worked on Dungeons & Such pretty much on your own. How did you manage?
Developing a game is not easy. First thing I did was to look for tutorials online. There are a ton of video tutorials out there, which is a great place to get started.
It was like putting together puzzle pieces. I learned how to make a sound by touching a button, and I learned how to display simple animation in the screen. Then I put them together and started making a game. There are great forums out there where you can share information, too.
Do you think your average gamer could manage to develop a game on their own?
Definitely. Skills needed for programming: in my case, a lot of patience and love for video games. Knowledge will follow later.
Average gamers could definitely make a game. There are a lot of frameworks and tools you can use such as Cocos2d and GameSalad, as well as help guides on the internet.
Why did you start up your games company? What do you believe you can offer gamers that many other companies can't?
I started the projects because I really just wanted to make games on my own. Big companies tend to be stuck with profit in mind, whereas I am free to do whatever I want. I get feedback from a player and then the next week I can, if appropriate, work immediately on implementing their ideas into the game.
Do you have any updates planned for the game?
Yes. One is an ‘Army’ mode where you have to gather with your friends to fight a humongous boss. Another will be a ‘Monster Raid’ option, where you can raid the town every once in a while, and occasionally get to protect it as well.
Finally, a ‘Home’ feature will be added to let you build a house for yourself, where you can store your gold and items, as well as get your rest.
What plans do you have in terms of future projects and platforms?
I want to make more simple games and perhaps educational games. Because the challenge is to make everything on my own except for music, the development process is limited. I wish to make simple games and make it available for all the platforms.
Games by Genki Mine-
Dungeons & Such [itunes link]: Traditional turn based RPG where you venture through dungeons, level up in battles and discover treasure.
Typing Sebastien [itunes link]: Light hearted typing game where you must help the titular hero deliver a pizza to his girlfriend by keying out words letter by letter.
Replica Island [Android Market link]: Colourful 2D platformer which sees you play as a robot trying to find an ancient artefact on a mysterious island.
Uchikomido [Genki Mine’s site link]: Typing game which has you play a robot fighting foes by spelling out words on your computer keyboard.